Tuesday, May 31, 2016

NEW YEAR SUGGESTIONS FOR GIRLS (AND PEOPLE!); 1906

Make happiness a habit.

Keep within your means.

It is not pleasant to hear disagreeable speeches, do not make them.

Loyalty of friends does not include criticism of others.

Failure is blessed, if it corrects mistakes and strengthens endeavor.

It is a graceful thing to apologize for a mistake or wrong doing.

The whole world will run more smoothly, if our work is well done.

Girls grow old and nervous, crotchety and disagreeable if they continually "fuss." Stop it.

Practice makes perfect is as good a rule for cheerfulness and happiness, as for sewing and cooking.

Make a heaven of your home, and your family and friends will believe in a Heavenly Home.

Do first the thing that must be done. If the lessons are difficult master them; if you have done wrong, confess it; you will enjoy the rest of the day better.

The habitual observance of courtesy prevents many a tempest that makes ship-wreck of homes and families.

A selfish spirit is like a bushel of nettles in the home.

Graciousness of manner and goodness of heart make an attractive personality and a noble life.

True love does not always live in the sunshine, sparkling with jewels and gay with silks and laces, more often you will find her in the shadows, foot-sore and weary, bearing the burden of others on her shoulders, but with a glory on her face.




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SEWING CLASS; 1919; by J. W. M.

Dear Friends:

On a hot June afternoon, a few mothers and daughters came to the ranch at my invitation, to consult about a sewing class which I had offered to carry on for the girls of the community. The two youngest who wished to join, were five and seven years old and had never held a needle or used a thimble. The two oldest had sewed quite a bit on their mother's machine but almost none by hand.

The sewing bulletins given us at the county adviser's office say quite emphatically, "have the meetings short." These girls came a mile or more through rain or shine so we could not afford to have too short sessions. We met at three o'clock, sewed an hour, then stopped for a recess of fun.

The first day, the girls dropped their sewing any where and any how. When they returned later, to the table under the trees to sew, I said pleasantly, "Girls! What's the matter here? What's wrong?" They looked around and one face after another began to look sheepish. The sewing was either in little mussy heaps or sprawled over the chairs or on the ground. The lesson went home with no further words from me. Also at the end of that first lesson, I asked how many would come next time with clean finger nails. These little lessons on the side I consider among the most important.

To return to the recess time, after an hour's lesson the girls ran and played. That first day they took turns riding the Shetland pony whose pasture field is the big yard.

Other afternoons the recreation quarter-hour was spent climbing the low-branched birch trees or dressing the dollies. Always they returned rosy-cheeked and cheerful for another hour's work.

On that first day, I told the mothers and girls in simple story form of early ways of weaving, of the time when people had no needles and no machines; of looms and warp and woof; of Indian rugs, and so forth, and brought it all down to the present time. It was not hard to hold the attention of the girls who sat open-mouthed but many of the mothers would whisper to each other, "Have you weaned the baby yet?" or "Isn't this weather awful to sour milk?" Their minds had been so long running in the rut of cooking and children only, that they could scarcely concentrate on outside subjects of interest.

One afternoon I showed the girls samples of different weaves, goods, textures and dyes.

The simple garments made by the girls, of course, did not amount to much as garments but their coming together was a character-forming influence.

During July, I, their leader, was away. In spite of hot days and busy hours, these girls came together at the call of their girl President. They had each bought muslin and with some help from a mother, each one had made a nightgown. The gown and the making of it were of less importance than their other training. For example: I asked each one to rip off the neck facing and let me show them the correct way to put it on. With no exception they cheerfully complied, although it took more than one long hot afternoon for some to complete the job. To undo the work they had done was a test of patience and good nature and trust in their leader.

These garments went to the County Fair. They received no blue ribbons nor honorable mention. The premiums will be realized in characters of the future.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

OUR HOT NOON LUNCHES; 1919; Putnam County, Ohio

Seventh grader, Odelia Konst, explains the simplicity of her school lunch program.

We have had hot lunches in our school for over two years. I think it is very good for the children. It helps the children to study their lessons. Many children do not eat much for breakfast and if they do not eat much for breakfast and if they do not get a hot dinner, they will get sick. Some children will not eat their cold lunch at school. The farmers will have warm feed for their chickens, pigs and cows. If the farmer takes good care of the animals, why should he not take good care of his boys and girls? Children should have something warm to eat at school.


In some rural schools there is hardly room enough to serve hot lunches but it does not take as much room as some teachers think. The only room needed is for the stove and cupboard. The parents of school children should help the teacher get the things together. We have had three chief cooks: They are the following: Emma P., Loretta W., and myself. We also have some waiters that bring the food to the pupil's desk. We have many things in our school. We have an oil stove, kitchen cabinet and another small cupboard. Our oil stove has three burners. We like it very well. We have a baker with our oil stove. Our kitchen cabinet is very pretty. The upper part is taken off and we use it as a table. In one drawer we keep the spoons, forks and knives, and in the other part we keep the dishes. We have three dozen dishes, large cups and small spoons, knives and forks. We also have pans, a dish pan, a water pail, a large and a small stew pan. All the things in school are bought with the money we received as premiums at the county fair.
Children of the New Cleveland School

The children take turns about bringing the soup meat. Every child brings a potato for the soup then one of the children brings beans, noodles, or whatever we put in the soup. When the soup is done the chief cook takes it from the fire and divides it into cupfuls for the children. The one who brought the meat divides it among his friends. By this way the children bring more and nicer meat. When we have mashed potatoes one of the children brings the milk. When we have baked potatoes or boiled eggs the number of the child is put on it so that each child gets its own egg back. The parents like it very well. We have no trouble in getting the soup meat. Almost every week we had soup three to four times. We have one hot dish every day. It does not take much time away from our studies to tend to the cooking.

In the morning when we come to school we peel the potatoes and put them in pans till recess. The teacher starts the oil stove and the chief cook puts the soup meat on the fire. At recess we put the potatoes in with the soup meat. At half past eleven we eat our dinner. Then we put some water on the fire so that it will get hot to wash the dishes.

Each child has a napkin which he puts on his desk. Then we take the soup from the fire and put it in cups. Each child gets a cup of soup. When we have mashed potatoes each child gets a place of potatoes with white sauce on them. When we have mashed potatoes each child comes to the table and gets his potatoes. We all go to our desks and eat our dinner. The children have to stay in school for twenty minutes while they eat their dinner. After they are through eating their dinner they have to bring the dishes to the table where they will get washed. Some times there are many dishes to be washed.

Oh, how inexpensive and simple! I wonder what Odelia would think of our present day school lunch program?!



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I AM DAIRYING FOR DOLLARS; 1919; by Mrs. Warren Taylor of Springfield, Illinois

I have been running a dairy farm for three years and I have come to wonder why there are not more farm women in the dairying business.

There is nothing unusual about my dairy farm or my experience. My husband was for twenty-two years the principal of a Springfield grade school. This meant that we had to live in the city. I am a true dyed-in-the-wool farm woman. I was born on West Wood Farm. I dearly love stock. We bought our first cow when my oldest son was about nine as he persuaded us that he could make money selling milk to the neighbors. He paid for the cow and her keep in six months and bought another one which was paid for by the end of the first year. Finally we had four cows and the boys delivered the milk with the newspapers. Ten years ago we moved out to this, my father's farm, and my husband started in earnest to build up a dairy interest and when he died had a profitable retail dairy business in Springfield, Illinois. Neither the boys nor I wished to return to the city although friends and neighbors took it for granted we could not continue to run the farm and dairy and that, of course, we should have to give up and move to town.

Just at first, I was inclined to do this. I had taught school before I was married and I thought of taking up teaching again; then I considered office work of some kind but these means of support meant breaking up our pleasant farm home, giving up the healthy outdoor life and moving into a flat or city boarding house. My four boys were not old enough to provide for themselves and it was my duty as well as privilege to give them, not only food, clothes and a good home but the education and training their father would have given them had he lived.

If I taught school or worked in an office I could only be with my boys at night, and on Sundays and holidays. I have, I think, four of the finest lads in this country and I wanted to bring them up as upright, fine young Americans. (I am proud to say that I had two boys under twenty-one in the war.) I was afraid that if I took them to the city and could spend only a fraction of my time with them and could not share in their life and recreation, that they would grow away from me. I knew too they would feel caged up like the wild animals of a circus if, after their freedom on the farm, I put them in a flat or boarding house. Every cow, calf and pig on our place is a pet! Only recently when I bought a pedigreed bull from the University of Illinois Farm I had to give orders for one not only with a good milk strain but a good temper for I knew my youngest boy would be on the bull's back the first day it arrived! How could I coop up these growing boys in a city home?

If I carried on the dairy, I could stay on the farm, earn money, and our home life together would not be spoiled. Also the boys would have a chance to share in my work. I could think of no other money-earning business that would do this for me. So we stayed. I have not discovered any get-rich-quick secrets in the dairy business but I can say that I have made a comfortable living. I have increased the business and added to my herd and am now considering buying ten more cows. Last month I added forty-five new customers to my list and I have never advertised or solicited patronage. There is one physician, a baby specialist, who insists on his patients using milk from the West Wood Farm, as my dairy is called. I have seventeen of his baby-patients on my list.